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260                          EXPLANATION   Ol-   THE   MAPS.

supposed axis. We now know that in Avhatever direction the
Himalaya has been explored, its axis has been found to be be-
yond the snowy peaks, and indicated by the river-heads. We
have therefore in all cases of doubt represented the rivers as
following the courses of valleys enclosed by mountains, and
assumed that the geographical axis of a chain is indicated by
its watershed.

We have not hesitated to contour *he table-land of the
Dekhan, so as approximately to represent a system of ranges
descending from the meridional axis of the Peninsula to the
eastern coast, and attaining an average elevation of 1500-2000
feet* We have also given to that axis itself a more inter-
rupted and tortuous course than is usually represented; it
being an error to suppose that it forms a continuous ridge of
nearly uniform height parallel to the coast. Central India we
have also represented as a hilly table-land, intersected by con-
siderable valleys; of which there is ample evidence in surveys
and the accounts of travellers.

For the details of the mountain systems of East Tibet there
are no authorities, but we have expressed its main features,
that of an enormously elevated mountain mass. This is proved
by the statements of many intelligent Tibetans, by the Chinese
geographers, by the narrative of M. Hue, and by the fact of
so many of the large rivers of Asia flowing from it in several
directions. To omit a feature which rivals the Himalaya in
dimensions, and which exercises a paramount influence over
the meteorology of Eastern Asia, would deprive our map of
much of the. use we hope it may be of, in illustrating the re-
lations between the vegetation and climate of India.

It remains to add, that the system of spelling (which is
the classical one) adopted both in the maps and the pages of
our work, is rendered imperative from the fast that we hope
our work may be useful to foreigners as well as to our own